tito-ortiz-27.jpgWhen I first heard that Bellator MMA was thinking about promoting some crazy, borderline unsanctionable boxing match between former UFC champion Quinton Jackson and boxing legend Roy Jones Jr., I didn’t get it.

Except for those people who are dying to find out just how much leather “Rampage” can eat in one sitting, I wondered, who wants to see that? Better yet, who at Bellator could possibly think that sounds like a good idea?

Then I watched Wednesday night’s Bellator 97 broadcast on Spike TV, where Jackson (32-11 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) announced that, instead of RJJ, he’d be facing Tito Ortiz (16-11-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) in Bellator’s first ever pay-per-view event. Suddenly it all made sense. The Jackson-Jones talk? That was just a feint designed to bring our guard down. It worked, too. We spent so much time shaking our heads at that truly terrible idea that we never saw this merely very bad one coming.

On Wednesday it caught us flush, like a left hook to the jaw. I’m still reeling, and not in a good way.

I almost feel like we should have seen it coming. The fact that we didn’t, that so few of us did the math on Jackson’s addition to the Bellator roster and Ortiz’s hints at a possible comeback and came up with “Rampage vs. Tito” live on pay-per-view (!!!), well, that probably tells us something. It tells us that this isn’t a fight anyone even considered, probably because no one really wants to see it.

Jackson and Ortiz? They both had their time in this sport. They were great once, and their periods of greatness even had some overlap. One thing both men have in common now, however, is that they’re both has-beens from another era who would need a DeLorean with a flux capacitor just to remember what it felt like to be on top.

How can you tell this is a completely unnecessary, nonsensical fight? Think back to Ortiz’s “retirement” after his loss to Forrest Griffin at UFC 148 in 2012. As he walked out of the cage for what we assumed and/or hoped would be the last time, did you hear anyone lamenting the fact that the Ortiz-Jackson fight never materialized? I’m going to guess no. No, you did not, because that fight wasn’t on anyone’s radar. No one cared to see it then, back when they were both still active fighters on the UFC roster. So what makes Bellator think we’ll pay to see it now?

That’s the really baffling part for me. This is Bellator, after all. This is the organization that told us it doesn’t want the UFC’s leftovers. These are the people who are all about the tournament structure, building stars from the ground up, letting fighters control their own destinies. And, as we saw with another brilliant performance from lightweight champ Michael Chandler last night, that’s actually working. The tournament system really does polish some diamonds in the rough from time to time.

But instead of spending its money on signing top 10 opponents for homegrown champs like Chandler to face, Bellator would instead prefer to throw cash at two aging fighters who are a combined 0-6 in their past six fights. And, as if that’s not insane enough, they expect fans to pay for the privilege of finding out which of these guys has less gas left in the tank on Nov. 2 at Bellator 106. It hardly even matters who wins this fight. It’s just a question of who will lose and whether he’ll have the good sense to retire and stay that way once it’s over.

The worst part is, I feel like the MMA world needs Bellator. A little competition between fight promotions gives fighters options and pushes everyone to do better. But when Bellator abandons its own vision in order to do exactly the kind of fight it said it wasn’t interested in, it makes itself seem less like a unique product in the MMA space and more like just another off-brand competitor, hoping we won’t notice that the goods it’s peddling are far past their expiration date.

We’ve seen how that ends. We’ve also seen how it begins, usually with grand, delusional promises that have no hope of coming true. Promises that, if we’re being honest, sound a lot like the one Jackson made on last night’s broadcast when he said his bout with Ortiz would be “one of the best fights in history.”

Funny, since that seems like exactly where this fight belongs – a ways back in MMA’s history, but definitely not its future.

For more on “Bellator 106: Rampage vs. Tito,” stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.

(Pictured: Tito Ortiz)

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Bellator 141 results recap, video highlights for 'Guillard vs Girtz' with bonus Tito Ortiz interview

  • 4 days ago
  • 30 views

The tenth Bellator MMA event of 2015 was "Guillard vs. Girtz" -- also known as Bellator 141 -- which took place last night (Fri., Aug. 28, 2015) on Spike TV inside Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temec read news >>

Bellator MMA: 'Dynamite 1' card adds Gabriel Varga vs Serhiy Adamchuk GLORY featherweight title fight

  • 25 days ago
  • 1 views

Another GLORY title fight has been announced for the Bellator MMA: "Dynamite" card on Sept. 19, 2015. GLORY Featherweight Champion Gabriel Varga will defend his title against Serhiy Adamchuk in the k read news >>

Glory featherweight title fight added to 'Bellator MMA: Dynamite' event

  • 25 days ago
  • 1 views

Another title will be at stake in the "Bellator MMA: Dynamite" card in San Jose. The hybrid MMA and kickboxing event on Sept. 19 will feature another Glory title fight as featherweight champion Gabri read news >>

Ilima Macfarlane Moves Past 'Soccer Mom' Viral Video with New Bellator Contract

  • 28 days ago
  • 57 views

The crazy part about the way it all ended up going down is that Ilima Macfarlane just wanted a fight. She'd fought six times as an amateur. At Team Hurricane Awesome, Macfarlane's San Diego-based gym read news >>

Paul Daley takes on Fernando Gonzalez in kickboxing match at Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1

  • 23 days ago
  • 0 views

Paul Daley has his opponent set for Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1. The British star will meet Fernando Gonzalez in a kickboxing match on the hybrid card Sept. 19 in San Jose, sources told MMAFighting.com. read news >>

Paul Daley vs. Fernando Gonzalez set as kickboxing bout at 'Bellator 142: Dynamite'

  • 23 days ago
  • 1 views

Bellator MMA welterweights Paul Daley and Fernando Gonzalez will trade in their MMA gloves for kickboxing mitts at next month’s combined Bellator MMA and GLORY spectacular.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Paul Daley Prepares for Glory Against Fernando Gonzalez at Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1

  • 22 days ago
  • 0 views

Bellator MMA competitors Paul Daley and Fernando Gonzalez will set up shop inside the GLORY kickboxing ring and showcase their striking skills at Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1. read news >>

Joe Warren and LC Davis Battle for Title Contention in Bellator 143 Headliner

  • 22 days ago
  • 2 views

Joe Warren’s road to reclaim the Bellator MMA Bantamweight Championship will begin on Friday, September 25 against L.C. Davis. read news >>

UFC declines to re-sign Josh Thomson, who is expected to sign with Bellator MMA

  • 22 days ago
  • 11 views

Josh Thomson's latest UFC run has come to end. According to sources with knowledge of the situation, the UFC declined to offer Thomson a new contract once his most recent one expired following his lo read news >>

Former UFC lightweight Josh Thomson expected to join Bellator MMA

  • 22 days ago
  • 12 views

Former Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson is expected to sign with Bellator MMA after the UFC declined to give him a new contract. Less than two years ago, former Strikefroce LW champion J read news >>